Richland County SC Approves Ban the Box Rule to Drop Criminal History Question from Job Applications

Ban the Box

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 4, 2019, Richland County in South Carolina approved a “Ban the Box” rule to “drop the question about criminal convictions from job applications” and “will no longer ask future job applicants if they have a criminal history, joining a national movement meant to give those leaving prison an easier route back into the workforce,” according to a report from The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Richland County is known as a county that supports rehabilitation, and this supports our philosophy to give people a second chance when they have paid their dues to society,” Councilwoman Yvonne McBride, who sponsored the measure, stated in the report. The county also voted to drop the question about past salary history of applicants from job applications to help ensure equal pay.

“Once a record is checked, sometimes a decision is made not to hire, if it’s something relevant to the job they’re doing, like if you handle cash but you were convicted of stealing or embezzlement,” Richland County Human Resources Director Dwight Hanna stated in the report. He also said that the county would still conduct criminal background checks on all job applicants before they are hired.

“Ban the Box” is a growing nationwide movement that seeks to advance job opportunities for people with prior criminal convictions by eliminating any inquiry into the criminal history of candidates on job applications, specifically the checkbox that requires candidates to disclose their criminal history. As of June 2019, more than 150 cities and counties, as well as 34 states, have passed Ban the Box laws.

States with Ban the Box laws include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In addition, thirteen states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – as well as the District of Columbia have passed Ban the Box laws for private employers. More ESR News blogs about the Ban the Box movement are available at www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) also offers a complimentary white paper entitled “Ban the Box Now More than the Exception for Employers when Screening” along with the “ESR Ban the Box Resource Guide for States, Counties & Cities” to help both public and private employers understand their responsibilities if they live in one of the many areas where Ban the Box laws have taken effect.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – also offers employers a Ban the Box Resource Page the contains complimentary white papers, infographics, and an interactive map updated with the latest Ban the Box laws. The ESR Ban the Box Resource Page is available at www.esrcheck.com/Legislative-Compliance/Ban-the-Box/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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